01 August 2013
ARMM govt starts HEART operation
Cotabato City- Heart operation centers will be established in the region, but not the kind where hearts will be operated on.
Operation centers that are open 24/7 for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao- Humanitarian Emergency Action and Response Team (ARMM- HEART) will be established here and in Zamboanga City said Laisa Alamia, region’s executive secretary during the initial assessment meeting yesterday, July 31, on the ongoing relief operations.
“ARMM- HEART is an emergency rapid response team that provides coordinated actions by all regional line agencies to limit the impact of disasters in the region,” said Alamia.Attended by its line agency members and various civil society organizations, the assessment meeting evaluated the extent of flooding caused by heavy rains, the number of displaced residents and the assistance needed in every affected community.According to her, the operation center to be established in Zamboanga City will cater to the island provinces and the one here is for the provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur.
As of yesterday, July 31, there are 48,817 displaced families in the 20 flood-affected towns of Maguindanao.
Recent skirmishes between the government forces and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in some towns already affected by floods also displaced 20, 248 persons. The ARMM HEART- led relief operations this week distributed food packs, water containers, mosquito nets, hygiene kits, and hydrosol.
Other relief services to be offered are mobile immunization for children and pre-natal check-ups for pregnant women by the Department of Health (DOH) and on-site feeding by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
In the assessment meeting, various civil society organizations and United Nations- attached agencies pledged support to the relief operations.
Alamia said one of the challenges they face is identifying which municipality needs what kind of assistance as data are not yet available as of yesterday.
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN- OCHA) and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) offered to provide technical support in crafting the monitoring assessment tool to help the region identify target persons and their specific needs. (bpi-armm)